Twas Night Before Christmas


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I knew what the response would be when I played the classic "It's Beginning
To Look A Lot Like Christmas" yesterday for all the horrified folks in the Live Business Center, but
it was even better than I hoped for ... universal moans, groans, and expostulations that all meant,
"Dr. Lant, you can't be serious!" Nobody thanked me for my concern about making this year's
holiday season the smoothest ever because it would be the best planned ever.

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Twas Night Before Christmas

  1. 1. Twas Night Before Christmas
  2. 2. Preface / Introduction@~~~>The LAST Time I Made This OFFER I was BURIED in calls so I am limiting this to theNEXT 5 PEOPLE ONLY CALL ME NOW - dont miss out! CALL ME NOW for your FREEInternet marketing consultation. $100 value. Let an expert show you RIGHT NOW how to profitonline every single day without leaving home. CALL ME -- Liz English -- NOW, (315) 668-1591.LIVE 24/7/365.
  3. 3. Table of Contents1. Its not beginning to look a lot like Christmas, yet, but it IS time to start planning.2. First Christmas away from home. Paris. 1967.
  4. 4. Twas Night Before ChristmasIts not beginning to look a lot like Christmas, yet, but it IStime to start Dr. Jeffrey LantAuthors program note. I knew what the response would be when I played the classic "Its BeginningTo Look A Lot Like Christmas" yesterday for all the horrified folks in the Live Business Center, butit was even better than I hoped for ... universal moans, groans, and expostulations that all meant,"Dr. Lant, you cant be serious!" Nobody thanked me for my concern about making this yearsholiday season the smoothest ever because it would be the best planned ever.I mean, you want to avoid the chaos and confusion that distinguished your efforts last year, right?And you definitely want to avoid the acute Last-Minute- I-Tis that seems to occur every single year,right? Well, Im here in my role as Santas Little Helper to make this dream come true."Are you sure youre not jumping the gun just a little?"Unless youre a bona fide Christmas freak (and they do exist) you think of this most importantholiday of the year not with happy expectations but rather with dread and apprehension,remembering what can go wrong because of all the things that have gone wrong in years past; someof them certifiable doozies like the time you "forgot" to get that "little something" for your muchloved mother-in-law. That kind of faux pas can never occur if you follow the instructions Im aboutto give you. And that alone makes your attention now worth it.1) Plan, dont just think about planning. Planning means just that. Sit down at your computer, open anew file and brainstorm all the categories you must have and master to ensure the best possibleresult. If your plan is complete and thorough and if you master it, you are going to have a superiorevent. Guaranteed. Otherwise itll be catch as catch can. That can be memorable, of course, but in allthe wrong ways.2) Review what happened last year. Christmas is about traditions, but one tradition you want toexclude is muddle. What really worked last year? What did people like... what did YOU like... andwhat left a mess, even bad feelings? The earlier you walk through what happened, why it happenedand (where applicable) why it better not happen again, the better.3) Select a tune that gets you in the Christmas mood, even when you most assuredly are not. I likeDer Bingles version of "Its Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas" written by Meredith Wilsonin 1951. It works on even the most hardened Grinch. I know. Im one.4) Brainstorm all the people you want to gratify with a gift. Be expansive. The idea whenbrainstorming is to jot down possibilities. Evaluation and exclusion are not part of this initialprocess. Thinking broadly and without limits is.5) Now prioritize. Who MUST get something (think mother-in-law) because the consequences ofnot giving are too horrible to consider... and who would it be nice to give something, but notnecessary? Prioritizing is crucial... unless you have more money than God, although its rumoredthat even His pockets are not so deep as usual after our punk year.Avoid the "January Hangover".Many overly jolly holiday givers wake up in January owing a bundle thats sure to make all themerry gentlemen dismay. Planning is crucial here.6) Budget. First, estimate how much money you want to spend. Then look at last years bills. Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 4 of 10
  5. 5. Twas Night Before ChristmasScrutinize them closely. Was the amount you spent before easy to pay... or did it leave you broke,under a pile of debt? There are two keys here:First, determine your budget, then resolve this year not just to live within that budget, but to covermost if not all of your expenses with cash on hand, not credit. What! Youre thinking thatspositively un-American. Youre right... paying up front for Christmas expenses IS un-American, andthats a very good thing. This means determining how much you can afford to spend as determinedby how much you can put away prior to December 15, then saving and spending accordingly. Thiswill save you a lot of grief and lamentation in January.Shop early.Right now as Im writing Christmas is still about 100 days away. No rush to shop, right? Thatdepends on whether you want distinctive gifts... or whether any old gift will do. For all that Im aGrinch of unmatched performance, I make it a point to give gifts of thoughtful consideration only.No mere "gift" will do. For me, this means scouting the catalogs of the worlds major auction houses,places like Sothebys, Christies, Dorotheum, etc. I never have any trouble finding things of beautyand rarity, even if sticker shock comes along with it, especially fine jewelry. Every auction house inthe world has special bijoux sales before Christmas with eye- popping bling. Youd be surprised atthe bargains available for the diamonds which are always a girls best friend.Important note: if you take advantage of this recommendation, remember that things you purchase atsuch auctions may and very likely will need restoration and professional TLC before being given,not to mention adequate time for packing and shipping. Make generous delivery estimatesaccordingly.Plan for the "little people."My life works because of all the so-called "little people" who assist, help, organize and, I admit,coddle me. It takes many such people providing a plethora of such services to make my life work.All must be remembered at Christmas, but how to do it without breaking the bank?With me, Trader Joes is the answer; specifically their unmatched for the price liquor department. Ittakes just one trip purchasing just two cases of fine wine and sherry to solve the problem. Then all Ihave to do is write ("For Aime") on my business card and tape it on the bottle. Voila, I have a giftthat never fails to please, especially if they didnt expect to be remembered. And thus my status as a"good fellow" is secured for another year and so is their good service on which I so rely.Check your lights and ornaments well before you need them.One of the seasons habitual frustrations is ensuring you have all the lights and ornaments you needbefore you have to have them. Finding out you dont have them is a major hassle in December; just aminor glitch in September. Thus review what youve got early. Then shop online to order what youneed; you can do this any day of the year by searching on the item you want. Thats the sensible,inexpensive, cool, calm and collected way to do it.Wither goest thou?Are you traveling this year? Air fares are up which means planning is even more necessary. Hereswhere the online discount travel services come in. The earlier you consult and use them, the betterthe deals. Just remember, once youve booked these specials, there is always a penalty for change orcancellation.Now sit back and enjoy the holidays.I have seen 64 Christmases so far, this year my 65th and it has long seemed to me that too many Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 5 of 10
  6. 6. Twas Night Before Christmaspeople are too harassed to enjoy them. If you follow the directions in this article carefully andthoroughly, you will savor and enjoy them, perhaps for the first time in years. And that may be thebiggest gift of all. Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 6 of 10
  7. 7. Twas Night Before ChristmasFirst Christmas away from home. Paris. Dr. Jeffrey Lant.Authors program note. Today is the day I sign up to receive Social Security. It will be a day whenlow level bureaucrats will prod me, asking questions they already know the answers to, all designedto prove (or not) that I am the Jeffrey Ladd Lant born 66 years ago in Illinois, into a time andsituation which now only exist in my imagination.I wonder whether the clerk will smile or even look at me when the inevitable queries are asked? Imnot counting on it, for they see a generation advancing to old age, while I consider only myself. Iwant human contact but will have to do with "sign here" and get the money.And so, under the circumstances you will understand that I need something quite different; a kind ofcosmic pick-me-up composed of equal portions of youth, energy, hope and optimism, all things inshorter supply today, here and now, than then. I need Paris. Since you probably do, too, let me sharesome with you.... the better to remember and pass a kindred moment when not a single word isrequired or expected."I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles".For me, only one song would do for the musical accompaniment to this article; Cole Portersseductive tune "I Love Paris". It debued in 1953, in the film "Can- Can" and like so many of Portershaunting melodies it immediately touched the soul of the world; in this case setting us to recall thebittersweet memories of a youth that can only be tapped infrequently, so powerful is even thesmallest part.I like Ella Fitzgeralds rendition about "this timeless town". It cuts to the heart... and does with youwhat it will... just like love itself. Youll find this bijoux in any search engine. Go now and play it...again... and again... and again. If its cold and misty outside and the memories come thick and fast,you are ready for what follows.Paris, destiny.In 1967, I was the luckiest 20-year-old in the world. Though the Great Republic was at war, gravelydivided by whether we should have more of it or less, I was going to Poland for my Christmasholidays. Now as all the world knows, the way to Warsaw most assuredly goes through Paris, atleast in my atlas. Thus I found myself for the first time in the City of Light at the best possible timein life to be there, that is to say whatever time you are there; in my case December,1967 just a fewdays before Christmas.My trip, hurriedly arranged which is to say (in the way of young men) not arranged at all, cameabout because of a notice hung on the campus bulletin board at the University of St. Andrews inScotland, where I was spending, and happily too, my junior year abroad. It promised high times andhijinx in Zakopane, the site of the Eastern Blocs 1967 Winter Olympics. The trip was sponsored bythe Young Pioneers, Communisms equivalent of the "Best and the Brightest." The cost could bescrapped together and was just affordable at just about a hundred quid.Of course we wouldnt tell parents where it was we were going, much less under whose auspices.Bright young men seek to shield the rents from any inkling that they might have had, were having,or would have a "good time." That was always the best possible course, especially whereCommunists... and Paris, mind... were involved.Paris first. Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 7 of 10
  8. 8. Twas Night Before ChristmasOur trip to Poland was to have begun in London where we were to meet the tour guide andorganizer. He had been a Tory candidate for Parliament in the last General Election; time now hungheavy while he waited impatiently for his next chance at greatness. Like most young, ambitious,aspiring Conservatives he didnt believe in much of anything; principles, you see, get in the way ofsuccess. It was always better not to have too many or to believe them too seriously.As a result our guide, youthful, good looking and unscrupulous was excellent company and game foranything. Its a pity Ive forgotten his name... hes undoubtedly a retired cabinet minister now, full ofsage advice and pompous aphorisms... the Right Honourable the (first) Baron Twitsbee-on-Thames.Such a man, of course, approved our traveling to Paris first, meeting up with the group later,pleasurably fatigued as men of the world would most assuredly be at that point. He undoubtedlywished us luck... and winked, salaciously.And so I went to Paris -- and to a passionate embrace which has never ended.Every true Parisian believes there is Paris... and then there is everything else. There is no knownantidote to this belief. Once in Paris, walking the Champs Elysee, you are glad it is so. No antidotedesired; none imaginable. And thats as it should be. So I came to see that Paris was not merely aplace... but an idea, a dream, a journey, a vision and where, in grander style and sureness of touch,there was a better me waiting for the ordinary me to arrive.Le beau coup.I remember everything about those days... no detail too small or inconsequential. Paris is like that,transforming even the slightest of matters into Events, primed with Significance. Paris is, after all,the greatest mise-en-scene on Earth, a place where you find yourself, see yourself as larger than life,mesmerizing, captivating, the very person you have always wanted to be... and now are, to thegratification of self and the satisfying envy of the folks back home.No other city on Earth, no other place at all holds such power, such magic, and so you, likeJosephine Baker sing this: "Jai deux amours. Mon pais et Paris"; you are suddenly, unmistakably, toyour complete bliss a boulevardier au fait with everything in this place which now forever holds apiece of your heart and means to keep it forever with fierce possession.And so it started in a boulangerie within moments of arrival. I ordered a baguette... and thanked theproprietor for... her beau coup. "O, monsieur," she said, just for a moment no longer of a "certainage" but young again, with gracious curves well worth the seeing. She patted her haunch, shegiggled, she pointed "O monsieur, cest le beau coup". I had made her happy. It was a portent ofother happy encounters to come."Is this what I think its for?"Later that day, I stood with Mark Morris at the ticket counter of the Opera, Baron Haussmanns greatcreation begun in1861, a venue fit for God Himself to make music. We barely had enough for twotickets high up in the rafters and needed to count it twice over to be sure of even that.. but there wassomething about us, two acolytes butchering la belle langue determined to worship everything wesaw, that touched the heart of the woman ticket seller."Voila," she said, an empress dispensing largesse. And so we came to possess a box at the Opera forthe evenings performance, compliments of a Parisienne determined to turn by a graceful touch thequotidian into a lifetimes happy memory.Everything was new, notable, marvelous.. including how two young men of decidedly limitedmeans, dressed just a shade better than tatterdemalions had their box unlocked for them, then locked Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 8 of 10
  9. 9. Twas Night Before Christmasagain with them inside. And of how they soon discovered a ceramic pot on the floor festooned withthe grandiloquent "N"s of the master who ordered such monumental awe and splendor. Yes, it wasused... and so the customs of Paris turned the most natural function into art and protocol.Last night, first visit. Venite adoremus. Notre Seigneur et Sauveur.No young person wants to slow down the pace of time. Speed, not savor, is always their order of theday. But then comes Paris and the dawning fear one has too little time, hardly any time at all to enjoyeach thing, every thing. And so youth comes to know a secret of age: that the best lived life ispatient, paced, distinguished by care not merely celerity. Thus one grows and matures, another ofParis insights and benedictions.And so in my final hours of what I vowed must be the first of many visits, I made my way nearmidnight to one of mans great achievements, Notre Dame. I went as a curiosity seeker, for I was,after all, the son of Puritans who would decry my very presence at such a Romish place.But God was present that night, and I knew why men of vision had dreamed this place and workedso hard to achieve it. Here was a place where one might look for and even find sanctity, belief,peace, and be touched by the greatest light that shown that night in the City of Light. And it wasgood. I sang the words of the great hymn -- "Venite adoremus" -- with conviction... Notre Seigneuret Sauveur.And then it was over. I was, in the middle of this Christmas night, en route by rail to Poland viaBelgium enraptured by the greatest reason for loving Paris, the reason found in the last line of ColePorters great tune.... Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 9 of 10
  10. 10. Twas Night Before ChristmasResourceAbout the Author Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a widerange of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home businesstraining, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting,hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 onlineHome Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today.Republished with authors permission by Elizabeth English Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 10 of 10